Another stellar vacation on the Cape Cod seashore has come to an end. All that remain are photos to be shared with family and friends and a modest collection of sea shells and sea glass to be coveted by our children for years to come.
This was our second year vacationing on the outer end of Cape Cod, and again it had all the ingredients for the type of picturesque getaway you read about. (Then again, you’re here, so I guess you are reading about it.) This vacation was not built around theme parks or Disney characters. We had few opportunities to let Reality TV or Nickelodeon glue us to the couch, save one morning where thunderstorms cornered us in our cottage for a a few hours.
Not once did our kids say they were “bored”. Here’s a rundown of a few of the things that kept us occupied.
- The Provincetown 4th of July Parade: This parade might be one of the smallest I’ve sen, but it is certainly one of the most entertaining. P’townis known for a few things; it boasts a rich history as a hub for New England fisherman and Portugese culture; it is home to the nation’s oldest artist colony, and has long been a welcoming resort town for the gay community. The parade incorporates all of these elements, creating a wonderful celebration of its unique character(s). It is truly festive, and much to the delight of my children, every person on every float tossed out handfuls of penny candy. (I am sure their dentist will be thrilled this week.)
- Relaxed at Kalmar Village. At our temporary home in this little community of cottages in North Truro, we strolled with the kids on the boardwalk to the beach. I tried to teach my son to do a back float in the pool, and we tossed some bean bags on the grassy common area.
I have to give a shout-out to this lovely set of vacation cottages. Kalmar Village is a great place to stay if you and your family are looking to take it truly easy. The cottages are modest; the fact that they tend to show their age just adds to their charm. They are just large enough to give our family of four some elbow room, and have just enough amenities to remind you that we live in the 21st century. (Unfortunately, it is tough to break the habit of checking my office email, so the complimentary Wi-Fi is a plus.)
They are super-clean, and housekeepers make the beds and change the bath towels daily. Our housekeeper was lovely. She rearranged my son’s stuffed animals on his bed each morning, and as we left she gave both of our children big hugs. If you are headed out to this part of the Cape Cod, you would be well-served to check Kalmar Village out!
- Sea Shell and Sea Glass Hunting: My 4-year-old daughter has an endless fascination with rocks and shells of all shapes, sizes and colors. The beaches at the Cape, especially if you are on the bay side, have ubiquitous amounts of each. Every walk to the beach resulted in a bucket full of stones with a variety of pock-marks created by the surf and sea creatures of Buzzards Bay. We brought home a lovely little collection of extra-large clam shells that now strategically hold down the paper napkins on our backyard deck. It wasn’t until we began to visit Cape Cod beaches that I learned to art of sea glasshunting though. For you fellow novices out there, sea glass is basically litter that the ocean has turned into art. Shards of broken glass from old beer bottles and the like are tumbled by the surf, smoothing their jagged edges. People with artistic vision and know-how often craft sea glass into lovely jewelry, mosaics or other pieces. Our nascent collection will simply be bound for a jar in my son’s room for the time being though.
- Race Point Beach: We used one day to visit this beach, one of the many beaches along the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Its vistas are stunning; the crowds are minimal, and the surf puts the waves on the opposite side of Route 6 to shame. Here, the kiddos had their first real chance to use their “boogie boards” to ride the waves. The current can be deceivingly strong, though, so we kept a close eye on them, lest my six-year-old ride the tide all the way to Ireland. They had a blast despite the limitations imposed by their hovering “helicopter parents”.
- Sunsets, Sand and Saltwater Taffy: We were fortunate enough to spend much of the week with some good friends who were staying just up the road. As a result, we had several sunset parties on the beach, complete with bonfires and fireworks.
We took the kids to Provincetown one or two more times, and let them pick out their souvenir t-shirt, and get their fill of saltwater taffy while Mom and Dad shared a clam roll.
All in all, it was a wonderful vacation.
Can’t wait til next year!